I visited Hilo many times. Every single time, it rained at some point. Meanwhile, when I sailed into the other side of the Big Island, the sun was always shining. Apparently, there is a scientific explanation for this, but I won´t go into that now.

I remember two special times fondly. Once, my Canadian friends Shannon and Melissa and me biked (mostly uphill) from the port to Rainbow falls. All I remember is how much my back hurt, how wet we all were from the rain and that those huge majestic falls offered no chance of a dive, unless I felt no emotional attachment to my head…

The other time, Melissa and me took our bikes in the opposite direction, and we just biked along these labyrinthine marshes by the sea, we swam in meandering streams beneath the tall rainforest trees and had a very intense experience of nature, away from the madding crowd, surrounded by other creature but birds, fish and the occasional insect. It was fortunate then to know that Hawaii has no snakes (my No 1 phobia when it comes to animals; and one it would have been very likely to encounter in that type of scenery anywhere else).

But there was another day, a much less memorable day perhaps, but which made a big impression on me. I was walking around the streets near the harbor, noticing lots of concrete and ugly constructions, where there had once been breathtaking natural beauty. I was walking in the rain through this grey side of Hawaii, and I wrote this poem in my head.

 

BIG ISLAND BLUES

They drowned the palm trees

Rainbow falls in rainbowing awayunder the concrete

They drowned our dreams
under the stone

This is Hawaii but not
It is a graveyard
of giant metal cans
and beaten men

Why does it always rain in Hilo
and ponds progress
as progress does recede

And flowers bloom
from winter´s wondrous trees

(to) magically end up my hair

Hilo, Big Island of Hawaii
Dec 2008

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